• Pick of the Week

    Kelly McLane

    So often is the label Surrealism tacked onto fantasy art that, in descriptions of contemporary work, it’s become practically synonymous with utopian scenes or lowbrow. Kelly McLane‘s loose dystopic pictures are the opposite of such reductionistic definitions; yet she appears among the best contemporary heirs to the Surrealist movement. Unfolding like bad dreams, her free-flowing paintings excavate society’s sordid depths, discharging pain and havoc from our collective subconsciousness. The artist terms our turbulent society’s ills “cultural dementia.” Her current show at DENK, ecofeministically titled “Peckerwoods,” illustrates this diagnosis via scenes of nature and quotidian life gone awry. Here, McLane employs her signature washed-out passages blending drawing and painting, beauty and grotesqueness; but since her last solo show several years ago, she has expanded her repertoire. New techniques including ligneous scarification enhance her pictures’ incisive urgency. In Deerberry Season (pictured above; all works 2017), a giant grinning rubber duck balefully looms behind a buck whose towering, sanguine antlers contradict his gangly fawn-like physique. The artificial toy appears to be herding the animal towards the edge of a cliff. Symbolizing natural destruction, the deer’s lacerate outline is partially carved into the panel. Overt carnage in Big Bird’s Got A Gun, Birds Born Blind and several drawings piercingly evokes notorious slews of recent violence. It’s been too long since a McLane show. Those who don’t know her work should; and those who do will be impressed by its development.

     

    DENK Gallery
    749 E. Temple St.
    Los Angeles, CA 90012
    Show runs through Nov. 22

    /
  • Recent Articles

    Cryptic PST Billboards

    SHOPTALK

    PST Buttons; Comings & Goings; New York, New York

    BUTTON UP At the opening of “Circles and Circuits” at the Chinese American Museum on Sept. 19, visitors rushing into the show picked up small…
    Read Article
    Dale Chihuly, Red Reeds on Logs, 2017

    ART BRIEF

    Inside the Glass Menagerie

    Does anyone really believe that Michelangelo or Rubens painted all their works—every single stroke? Of course they didn’t. They had assistants working on their art…
    Read Article
    “Reflections,”Krystal Schultheiss, another 2017 Artist-in-Residence (photo credit Digital Graffiti Festival)

    Cerebral Graffiti

    Social Cinema on the Florida Coast

    Alys Beach is a 158-acre community along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, on Florida’s panhandle coast. Each of the 107 chalk-white homes and…
    Read Article
    installation view,
“Social Places” theme. Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Photo: Brian Forrest.

    Radical Women at the Hammer

    Out From the Shadows

    It’s often said that the victor writes the history, and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that men, and society in general, have…
    Read Article
    Over Easy p. 28

    UNDER THE RADAR

    Mimi Pond’s Wild Ride, In Two Volumes

    Mimi Pond is a legendary figure in LA—part of the generation of independently-minded cartoonists nurtured—then dumped—by the alternative media, she also wrote the first-aired episode…
    Read Article
    Thomas Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy, (c.1770)

    RETROSPECT

    Thomas Gainsborough (1727–1788)

    We all know The Blue Boy (c. 1770) by Thomas Gainsborough, and for some of us there is a special attachment, while others only know…
    Read Article
    Illustration by Petra Larsen

    ASK BABS

    THE DECEPTION OF THE RECEPTION

    Dear Babs, I like Artillery because there is a variety of art and articles. Most recently I was shocked (kind of) like you when Anonymous,…
    Read Article
    DEAD OR ALIVE: Sparky Schultz

    DEAD OR ALIVE: Sparky Schultz

    Art Is What You Can Get Away With

    Read Article
    SIGHTS UNSCENE

    SIGHTS UNSCENE

    Check-In at Hauser & Wirth Event, Los Angeles, 2017.

    Read Article
    RECONNOITER

    RECONNOITER

    Wendy Waitriss

    Wendy Watriss is an award-winning photographer, journalist, curator and co-founder and artistic director of Houston’s FotoFest. In the wake of a season of climate disasters…
    Read Article